taking inspiration from the contours of the landscape and an ancient oak tree, eldridge london has designed a new residence that curves around a site in south west london. located in a secluded enclave of inter-war suburban bungalows, ‘house in coombe park’ takes leave from its pastiche neoclassical neighbors to create a striking and contemporary family home within a suburban environment.
all images courtesy of eldridge london
the project embraces eldridge london‘s philosophy of delivering site-specific buildings that respond to key landscape features while also harnessing the client’s interest in modernism and contemporary design. inspired by the sloping hillside and mature oak tree, the house in coombe park is a distinctive composition accessed through an open street level allowing the landscape to envelop the building, and maintaining views through to the garden.
the main accommodation is located below the entrance rotunda at garden level, connected by a staircase to the first floor structure floating above. the surprising appearance of the building is generated from the features of the site and context, but also allied to a fully functional plan. the lower garden level, which houses the main living spaces, is accessed via a suspended staircase in oak and brass that descends from street level through the glazed double height entrance rotunda. a secondary stair spirals up within the central concrete core to allow occupants to move between the levels in privacy.
a sweeping south facing glazed elevation frames the garden and the existing oak tree with open plan living accommodation distributed along its length. this curve is then repeated in a 120 degree rotational symmetry to create a ‘trefoil’ form in plan. the structure of the building is exposed internally as fair-faced concrete, with a two story cylindrical stair core supporting the 1st floor bedroom level. finely crafted joinery and furniture is combined with high quality materials to offer a refined, tactile interior.
large curved rooflights in the street level landscape allow generous daylighting into a gym and guest bedroom at the rear of the house, while service spaces are arranged radially across the rear retaining wall. the master suite occupies the entire first floor, hovering among the tree canopies with a full height glazed façade providing views over the gardens below.
natural materials predominate throughout, with oak flooring, stairs and furniture providing a warm complement to the finely finished exposed concrete, and providing a material link to the focal oak tree outside. polished brass and stainless steel elements, internal white marble and external grey limestone paving add a further level of refinement. the rigorous planning of the house has been carried through into the detailed design, with the ‘trefoil’ shape of the building repeating through the scheme at different scales as a subtle architectural motif: from the shaped vertical aluminium cladding members on the first floor façades, to pull handles on doors.
the external landscaping scheme has also been designed by eldridge london following the same geometries as the house to ensure an holistic composition with the existing oak tree again becoming the focal element. hornbeam trees to the side and front boundaries screen the site from the street, while the garden lawn continues across the street level entrance roof. a stainless steel path set into the lawn merges into the street level roof edge coping which together define the outline of the trefoil plan form of the spaces below. a series of vertical cantilever balusters project from these curving alignments forming a shifting moiré- fringe effect as one approaches the building.
a cantilevered external stone stair on one side of the building provides external access between the two garden levels, while a copse of silver birch trees adds texture and boundary screening to the other side. the landscaping also includes a natural swimming pond, utilizing marginal aquatic planting to provide natural filtration and cleansing of the water.
project name: house in coombe park
location: coombe park, kingston upon thames, london, the UK
internal area: 5435.77 ft2 (505 m2)
client: private client
architect: eldridge london
design team: nick eldridge, mike gibson (project architect), nico giuriato, will flint, emily quesne, alison poole
contractor: NBS / NBS joinery ltd
selected subcontractors / suppliers:
fairfaced concrete: NBS / NBS joinery
kitchen/joinery/staircase: joe mellows furniture makers
bespoke metalwork: detail metalwork
bespoke sofa: coakley & cox
oak floor: dinesen
marble: pisani / modo di marmi
bathroom fittings: vola
aluminium cladding: sapa aluminium
swimming pond: aquascapes
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom